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Unearthed Arcana Unearthed Arcana October 2017: Fiendish Options

So a bunch of fiendish subraces but only a point of ABS besides Charisma moved to other skills and some Legacy spells swaps, plus some cult spells and features. It doesn't do much for my game.

So a bunch of fiendish subraces but only a point of ABS besides Charisma moved to other skills and some Legacy spells swaps, plus some cult spells and features.

It doesn't do much for my game.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I seem to recall MM saying something about needing to stat up an archdevil on twitter a while ago. Now this article.....

If it was just devil-related options, I would say it might lead into next fall's AP (we are about due for a devil-themed one I think), but with the demon stuff too, it makes me think it is for the next winter book o' content.

As for the tieflings/cults, I guess I think of Asmodeus as more fear/control, with fire as secondary, whereas Mephisto (oops, wrong devil) and Fierna are more fire with other stuff secondary, so I probably would have made the PHB tiefling the default one for Mephy, and a more tyrannical one for Assy.
So, imagine a book about Planar threats, rather than Planes per se: Volo's Guide style entries for major Planar types (Devils, Demons, Yuggoloth, Genies, what have you), detailing how they can be low level cult inspirations all the way up to Big Bads. Throw in some Planar PC races, and a bestiary...yeah, I like this idea.
 

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So, imagine a book about Planar threats, rather than Planes per se: Volo's Guide style entries for major Planar types (Devils, Demons, Yuggoloth, Genies, what have you), detailing how they can be low level cult inspirations all the way up to Big Bads. Throw in some Planar PC races, and a bestiary...yeah, I like this idea.

I know I would be interested in such a book.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
Swapping out abilities and spells is simple; any DM I have ever seen could do the re-skins with little effort.
I look for something more substantially unique in these articles.
For this one, I would have settled for some differences in appearance among the sub-races (horn, tail, skin-color, etc.) but would really have liked a new feature for most.

What part of the current tiefling's statblock would you then have wanted removed to give you something "unique"? Because you just can't add something unique ONTO the tiefling without removing something else... because that renders the original tiefling underpowered. So what is it? Replacing Hellish Resistance with some other unique ability? What kind of unique abilities do you think you'd get in exchange for removing resistance to an energy type?

And even if they did that... how "unique" are we talking about here? Obviously the exchanging of spells for other spells in Infernal Legacy wasn't enough. Is exchanging one resistance for another enough? Is exchanging resistance for Advantage unique enough? Or exchanging it for a new skill proficiency? Or is it that you are expecting completely new abilities that have never appeared in the game before that you'd consider "unique" and worthy to be in a UA?
 

Elon Tusk

Explorer
What part of the current tiefling's statblock would you then have wanted removed to give you something "unique"? Because you just can't add something unique ONTO the tiefling without removing something else... because that renders the original tiefling underpowered. So what is it? Replacing Hellish Resistance with some other unique ability? What kind of unique abilities do you think you'd get in exchange for removing resistance to an energy type?

Yes, replacing any of those would be a good start.

And even if they did that... how "unique" are we talking about here? Obviously the exchanging of spells for other spells in Infernal Legacy wasn't enough. Is exchanging one resistance for another enough? Is exchanging resistance for Advantage unique enough? Or exchanging it for a new skill proficiency? Or is it that you are expecting completely new abilities that have never appeared in the game before that you'd consider "unique" and worthy to be in a UA?

Most of the UA articles have added something unique to 5e; classes, races, feats -- each of those has added a unique feature. The Mystic UA added tons of them. This doesn't so seems underwhelming by comparison. Even the initiative alternatives have added new ideas. I don't hate this article. I am just disappointed it didn't have more content, but I understand it's playtest and free so am happy that that do UA.
 
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The-Magic-Sword

Small Ball Archmage
I like the new tiefling subraces a lot, i think tieflings should have been subrace since the start you know? I think the spell selection is pretty spot on, none of them actually seem intrinsically stronger than the others, as they all follow the same pattern. I like that there are dex/ cha options too, opens the door to a more conventional tiefling rogue.

Sent from my SM-G930V using EN World mobile app
 

Dausuul

Legend
Okay then answer me this: What other parts of the Tiefling race needed to be changed for this sub-race to be substantial to you?

Age
Alignment
Size
Speed
Languages
Darkvision
Hellish Resistance

Besides the ability score increases and the three spells of Infernal Legacy... that's all you've got to change.
Oh, I didn't realize it was now the Law of Dungeons and Dragons that all tieflings must have a) resistance to a damage type, b) a cantrip, and c) two once-per-day spells granted at specific levels.

I want Unearthed Arcana to display more imagination than that. Swap out Infernal Legacy for a completely different ability. Scrap Hellish Resistance and replace it. Tieflings have been around since 2E, and each edition has given them a different set of abilities; pick over ideas from those older editions, or come up with some totally new ones.
 

phantomK9

Explorer
Don't really hate this one, but it just seems like giving Tieflings that many subraces is kind of pointless and overkill when compared to other races, especially their opposite the Assimar.

I think that Volo's Guide did the Assimar really well, and they are not all specifically aligned with some specific higher being but rather a specific style or dare say role. Tieflings should be done very similarly, and in fact I really enjoyed what was done with them in Sword Coast Guide, a few options, but not overwhelming. Now, I think that the options in SCG can be combined with those in this UA to really allow for complete customization, but then at that point, why not just say, "choose 1 here, choose 2 there, etc".

As for the rest of it, looks good, but mostly just for DMs. Not sure if it is something I would personally use, but seems fairly cool.
 

Oh, I didn't realize it was now the Law of Dungeons and Dragons that all tieflings must have a) resistance to a damage type, b) a cantrip, and c) two once-per-day spells granted at specific levels.

I want Unearthed Arcana to display more imagination than that. Swap out Infernal Legacy for a completely different ability. Scrap Hellish Resistance and replace it. Tieflings have been around since 2E, and each edition has given them a different set of abilities; pick over ideas from those older editions, or come up with some totally new ones.

That's how you end up with a tiefling in name only.
 

Elon Tusk

Explorer
That's how you end up with a tiefling in name only.

I think that's an unfair statement. Look at most of the standard sub-races:
- dwarven toughness v dwarven armor training
- elven cantrip/language v fleet of foot/mask of the Wild v drow magic
- hafling naturally stealthy v stout resilience
- gnomish illusion/speak with beasts v artificer's lore/tinker
 

cbwjm

Seb-wejem
Don't really hate this one, but it just seems like giving Tieflings that many subraces is kind of pointless and overkill when compared to other races, especially their opposite the Assimar.

I think that Volo's Guide did the Assimar really well, and they are not all specifically aligned with some specific higher being but rather a specific style or dare say role. Tieflings should be done very similarly, and in fact I really enjoyed what was done with them in Sword Coast Guide, a few options, but not overwhelming. Now, I think that the options in SCG can be combined with those in this UA to really allow for complete customization, but then at that point, why not just say, "choose 1 here, choose 2 there, etc".

As for the rest of it, looks good, but mostly just for DMs. Not sure if it is something I would personally use, but seems fairly cool.
I'd actually quite like the ability to choose (or randomly roll) abilities for a tiefling to represent that they have something in their bloodline but not sure what ancestry they have. Have 3 different tables with different abilities and then roll/choose what you want.

After seeing the reworked aasimar in Volo's I'd also like to see something more interesting than just a few spells.
 

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